Jury Awards $150 Billion to Fire Victim's Family

Lawyer says punitive damage award is symbolic

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011  |  Updated 11:22 PM CDT
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$150 Billion Awarded to Fire Victim's Family

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Jury awards $150 billion to the family of a man who died 12 years after being set afire as an 8-year-old.

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An attorney says a Texas jury in La Grange has awarded the largest verdict he has ever heard of -- $150 billion to the family of a man who died 12 years after being set afire as an 8-year-old.

Craig Sico says the punitive damage award is symbolic and the family expects none of it will be paid.

The defendant, Don Wilburn Collins, is currently imprisoned on an unrelated sexual assault charge. He was never charged and denies involvement in the 2010 death of 20-year-old Robbie Middleton.

Sico says he asked jurors to make a statement by topping the $145 billion Florida verdict against tobacco companies in 2000.

Neither Collins nor any attorney appeared for him at the civil trial. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice didn't respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

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